A few nights ago the girls and I were walking back from our bonfire on the beach. As the sun was setting, the street lamps began to flicker on. As I passed by the town square my mind drifted back to my childhood.
In the evenings when we lived in Calhoun, KY – my dad would take all of us kids on a walk around the neighborhood. Our town was quiet – hardly any traffic at night. So we would walk the streets together as a family. Each night we would stop by the little gas station and get ourselves a drink. We would swing by the side streets and dad would bet all of us whether or not we could throw our bottle and hit the light pole. We would try our hardest – but most of the time we would miss. As kids we looked forward to those walks every night. Our parents were so busy in the ministry – but those walks were all about us.
When we moved to Versailles we came up with a 2-mile path within our subdivision. My brothers and sisters were older and out of the house. So many times it was just daddy and me. Dad told me I would start talking from the time we left the house and didn’t stop talking for the whole hour – until we walked up the drive way . I can’t imagine that being the case!!
Those walks with my dad are the most treasured thing to me. It’s where I shared my frustrations and my hurts. It’s where I shared my passions and dreams for my life. It’s where I went for advice. It’s where my dad instilled wisdom. It’s where he took the books of Psalms and Proverbs and used them to make the scriptures come alive to me.
It’s also where he shared with me about how hard his upbringing was. I learned how much he overcame and how it helped shape the man he is today. His life itself is a testimony to how our pain can serve a greater purpose. That God can use anyone willing to give their life to Him wholeheartedly.
The heartache and pain of serving in Vietnam was the catalyst that began the ministry – Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. God took a young country boy – who walked barefoot to school (up a hill both ways) – found the Lord at a small country revival in West Virginia……. to create a ministry that has served and saved thousands and thousands of lost and hurting souls.
Judges 6:12 – When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
My dad is one of His mighty warriors. I know most children think that their dads are heroes…… buy mine really is. He taught me how to get back up and to never give up. He taught me how to use the scriptures to fight the enemy. He taught me how to be fearless – knowing the Lord will always be with me. He encouraged me to follow the Call of Christ – no matter how scary it may be. He has poured into me, prayed for me, and set the example for me.
I wouldn’t be in the ministry that I am – or have the passion for the Haitians like I do – if I didn’t spend my whole life watching it up close!
Thank you daddy for loving me and all my drama…….and for picking me up every time I fall. For finding the strength to reach out to me – even when you’re tired and weary from doing good in your own ministry.
Thanks for giving my children a Papaw that they can be proud of. That they can learn from. One that sacrifices just as much for them – as you have always done for your own children. Thanks for showing them what it means to be the Lord’s Mighty Warrior.
Happy Father’s Day!